This week we’ll be featuring three posts by guest blogger Kimberly Brambilla. Last summer she and her husband took their three young daughters to 2 Continents and 3 Countries in 2 weeks! This is Part One – stay tuned for Parts Two and Three.
“Are you crazy?” I’ve become used to being asked this question as I’ve planned trips and traveled with my 3 small children. Having children doesn’t stop me from doing what I love most– in fact having children has actually made me more determined to continue traveling, so that I can share this love with them. I wish to instill in them a sense of adventure, an openness and appreciation of other peoples and their cultures and a love of exploring the world.
Chiara, Gisele, and Olivia
Last summer we embarked on a journey of a lifetime. We traveled to Spain, Italy and Morocco. I knew that traveling with a 7, 5 and 2-year old would present many challenges, but it would also undoubtedly be an incredible experience for my daughters Chiara, Olivia and Gisele. We were going to Spain to vacation, but were also headed to Italy to spend time with “la familia”. My husband’s family lives there, and the girls do not get the chance to see them often. Since Morocco is only 9 miles from Spain I couldn’t pass up the chance to expose my children to a culture very unlike their own.
To prepare and get them excited we read library books about places we would visit, looked at maps, made art projects and learned simple words and phrases in Arabic and Spanish My husband also speaks Italian with the girls, so going to Italy would be an opportunity for them to practice.
With bags and camera packed we were off, and began the adventure in the colorful and vibrant city of Barcelona. We were thoroughly exhausted after traveling by plane, train and automobile to reach our apartment rental in the city. After dropping off our luggage, we began the search for a place to eat dinner. We were so tired that we stopped at the first place we found. It didn’t look like much, but boy were we surprised! Chiara wanted to order spaghetti but we reminded her that we were going to try new food on this trip. Once the paella, green olives, manchego cheese and fresh bread arrived at the table we were 5 very happy travelers. Although the girls were a little shy about using Spanish words with the waiters, they loved their first Spanish meal.
The next couple of days we toured the city in double-decker buses, which we found was the perfect way to see a city with kids. We saw many of the famous sites such as Sagrada Familia Church, Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and also spent time at the beach. Our time in Barcelona was short but the memories we made are long lasting. Next it was time for the girls to experience and learn about their Italian heritage and roots. Italia here we come!
Featured longboarders are Ana, Bea, Bego, Carla, Emma, Hännä, Jacky, María, Kati, Maitane, Maryele, Paula, Sophie and Valeria. Found on the international Longboard Girls Crew website, which is definitely worth checking out.
We’re excited to announce that our Spring and Summer Destination Catalonia catalogs are now available for your viewing pleasure on the iPad through Catalog Spree! This innovative, interactive shopping experience enables individuals to shop for their favorite Tea pieces, while browsing our catalogs directly on an iPad.
Catalog Spree is a free application available in the iTunes app store that combines inventive technology with the original layout of our print catalog that you would receive in homes. With Catalog Spree you can now browse at your leisure on the iPad, while enjoying an interactive, paperless shopping experience.
In the spirit of our current destination Catalonia, and spurred on by one of my favorite food(ie) newsletters and sites, Tasting Table, my husband Tom and I went on an excursion to the Noe Valley restaurant Contigo for Calçots, a special variety of spring onion from Catalonia, Spain.
We had first seen them picked, grilled and devoured “live” on the PBS Series, Spain…On the Road Againwith Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Gwynneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols. Needless to say, when I got my Tasting Table email, I was salivating.
At Contigo, they came two ways – roasted on the grill and in a light tempura coating. The accompanying sauce, salvitxada, was amazing, kind of like a romesco, but a bit different (roasted red peppers, garlic, nuts and red wine vinegar).
I forgot to snap a photo, but here’s a pic to give you a sense of what calçots are all about:
We tried some other dishes, including the Catalan style chard and the flatbread. And we enjoyed our tour of Spanish wines. It was a transporting and tasty experience just a couple miles from our home. Proof that you can go there across the street.
Here’s a salvitxada recipe if you’d like to try the sauce on for yourself. I think I’ll grill some veggies this weekend and give it a go. Happy tasting and Happy Mother’s Day and love to my mom and all the moms out there!
We spent the day in the whitewashed coastal Catalan town of Cadaqués, Spain, taking in the spirit of the resort’s brilliantly beautiful seaside scenes and warm, clear air. It was even a bit surreal, did we just spot Salvador Dali watching the sailboat races? Maybe it was just a sign that we felt right at home in the St. Tropez of Spain.
Back in San Francisco, we created a summer collection in hues of blue with accents of white, light green and sunny yellow. You and your kids will love the throwback style of our nautical graphics, cabana stripes and pastel patterns. Vintage nautical silhouettes, graphics and patterns are lent mellow modern touches throughout the collection.
Our Catalonia tile theme continues unabated here with prints reflective of tiles found on the seaside houses of Cadaques. We’ve also infused a number of floral artwork pieces with a distinctively Catalonian painted pottery flavor.
Go coastal with us this summer. We can’t wait to see you. And definitely bring your kids.
For our Costa Brava collection we were inspired by the colors and icons of Cadaqués – a coastal fishing village in Catalonia. The town had a distinctive color palette of whites, blues and sunny yellows – which we used to create fun summery pieces. We love the vintage nautical feel, which inspired the silhouettes and graphics of the season.